The undefeated Cherokee Braves, at times looking uninspired, came away with a hard-earned 4-2 Lakes Conference victory over pesky Estherville-LC here on June 18th, thanks to Cory Ege's arm and Tim Jones's bat.
The win kept the Braves perfect this season at 17-0 and 9-0 in the Lakes Conference. The visiting Midgets came to town with an impressive 17-3 record and, along with Spencer, are battling Cherokee for the loop title this season.
Perhaps some of the tightness for the Braves Monday night came from the fact they were moved to the number one ranking in Class 2A in Iowa, after being ranked second to Dyersville-Beckman much of the season.
As it was, ace Cory Ege pocketed the win for Cherokee, allowing one earned run on five scattered hits and no walks, with six strikeouts in six innings of work. Sophomore Matt Koch relieved Ege in the seventh and mowed down the Midgets with three consecutive strikeouts to register a save.
Tim Jones lit up the huge crowd in the first inning with a two-run home run to straight-away centerfield that got the Braves off and running.
Cherokee led 3-0 until an infield throwing error allowed two runners to advance and then score on a single to cut the lead to 3-2 after five frames. However Cory Ege then tripled and scored on a Mark Johnson single to put the final score at 4-2.
Ege was 2-3 with a single, triple and RBI, Jones 1-3 with a two-run home run, Johnson 1-2 with an RBI, Kyle Ruehle 1-2, and Koch 1-3 to account for the Braves hits and most of their offense.